Ice Bases

I thought I’d have a crack at creating an ice base for my Slaughterpriest model so that it looked like he’d tromped down from the frozen north. After doing a little research online it looked like using distress paint- specifically Distress Clear Rock Candy – would help give me the frozen look I wanted. Like everything in the world you can buy it on ebay.

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The first step was to paint the base in a layer of bright aquatic blue. It has to be bright as this is the colour that will shine through the ice. I used Scale 75 Adriatic Blue. Once this was dry I washed the base with GW Drakenhof Nightshade for a little depth.

The next step was to create the desolate coastline. I did this by adding a layer of GW Astrogranite to around half of the base. Once this was fully dry I wash the land area with Nulin Oil, let it dry and then drybrushed the land areas with a light grey.

Once everything dry it was time to pick up an old brush and apply a layer of Rock Candy over the blue area and in the recesses of the land so it looked like ground frost. If you add thicker coats you get thicker cracks. Once the Rock Candy was added I left the base next to the boiler for 24hrs to dry and crack.

Next I drybrushed the areas of ice with white as this made the ice looked more frozen and it helped pick out the cracks in the ice. After this it was just a case of attaching the model to the base applying a little glue to the areas I wanted to have snow and then sprinkling the snow over the glue.

All in all I think it looks okay and it was really easy to do.Feedback as always more than welcome.

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Sale 75 – Scalecolour

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Last Christmas my wifey bought me the Scale 75 Colour Collection. The Colour Collection contains all the 63 ‘basic’ range colours that Scale 75 produce and it also comes with a large aluminum paint tray that can hold 70 bottles of paint. The paint colours are as follows:

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The images above where taken from PaintRack app (see here for further details), it’s also worth noting that the Inktensity, Viking Gold and the Alchemy paints, although are Scale75 paints, are not part of the Colour Collection set but I have them listed in the slides above as they’re part of my Scale75 paint collection.

So after nine months of using the paints I thought it was about time that I wrote up my experience . The ScaleColour range is listed as having a ‘super matte finish’ and I have to admit that the paint finish is matte to the point of being almost chalky. Now I don’t want you to think chalky is in anyway bad it’s just that the ScaleColour has a really soft pastel finish to it which makes it ideal for blending. This chalky pastel colour range is fantastic for the foundation paint collection but there have been times where I’ve needed a really vibrant colour and I’ve had to use either a Citadel or Vallejo paint. To tackle this I’ve picked up the Scale75 Inktensity range to see if this will add some vibrancy when needed. I also expect that Scale75 Fantasy  & Games Collection will fill this gap. If Scale75 start selling the fantasy paint separately then I’ll pick some up to test but at the moment I don’t want to sink £118 into more paints.

Another thing that caught me out when I first came to use the paints is that each paint has a seal that needs to be broken before you can start using them. I presume this is to keep the paints fresh whilst they sit on a shelf in shop or a warehouse but if you’re not expecting it you can waste a few minutes wondering why no paint is coming out of the bottle when you’re squeezing it.

I also found that all the paints need a shake before use, and I mean a really good shake. One thing that did surprise me about the paint was how thick it is which means you only need a small amount, mixed with thinner, to go along way. In terms of thinner I’d really recommend the Scale 75 thinner as it seems to thin the paint Sioux diluting the pigmentation of the paint.

I’ve used the paint with a brush and also ran it through a paint brush and the coverage is great in both instances. Below is a picture of some Tomb Kings and Emperor’s Children that I’ve painted using the paints, I’m not the best painter but you get the idea.

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In conclusion I really love these paints, they have a lovely soft, chalky, matte look to them. They provide good coverage but they do need to be thinned. They’re a quality product.

paintRack – the Greatest Painting App around

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Like most hobbyist I’ve amassed a small* collection of paints in every hue imaginable in order to paint my battle hardened plastic warriors.

*read large collection, however, if anyone asks I will never have enough paints.

I own paints designed to be used with a brush, with an airbrush, to be dry brushed on, and to be washed on and they’re all from several different paint manufacturers; Citadel, P3, Vallejo, Scale75 and Army Painter (this doesn’t even cover the oil paints and pigments).

What I’ve found, however, is that I get colour blind with all the choice so I end up painting with my favorite paints at the moment, which is currently Scale75, and ignore the rest.This both limits my pallet and is a waste of the paint I own but haven’t considered as it wasn’t immediately at hand.

So the other night on twitter I asked the question to the #warmongers community

I recieve two responses to this question with both recommending paintRack

After downloading paintRack by @courageousocto and using it for a few days I can honestly say it’s excellent. The app allows you list paints from the Citadel, P3, Reaper, Vallejo, Warpaints, Tamiya, Scale75, Coat d’Arms, Citadel Classic, Minitaire, Watercolours, Humbrol, Andrea Colour, Ammo and Secret Weapon. You can add the paints by a simple click or just scan the barcode.

They’re two features however, that really make this app stand out for me. The first, is the library feature that lets you organise your paints, irrespective of brand, in colour order. I’ve found this really useful when picking out shades of paint for new schemes. The second features I really like is the ‘sets’ feature that allows you to store the colours you’ve used for specific models and their different elements, there’s even an area to add your mixing ratio notes. This for me is a great as I normally write my colour scheme down and then I lose the book a few days later.

So if you want an app that will list, organise, create sets, have a wish list and colour tools for your paints then this app is definitely worth looking at. I believe there’s a trial version but I immediately forked out for the full version at £2.79 after using it for a few minutes as I was really impressed. If you’re still not convinced then you can watch the promo video below.

 

And the link to the app on the Android Play store is here. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is available for the i-People.

Anti-Shine

During the continuing course of painting my Emperor’s Children I’ve started to use a lot more transfers. In the past I’ve had a love/hate relationship with transfers. On one hand they add a level of crisp detail that I don’t have the ability to match with a brush but on the other hand they always have a slight shine to them making them look as false as politician who is asked to carry out a normal activity in front of the press (for examples see the pictorial evidence below).


To try and remove the shine of the transfer I thought I’d try the Anti-Shine Matt Varnish by Army Painter. To apply the varnish I brushed it on like I would with paint. I applied a few layers over the transfer and the shine, at least to my eyes, was reduced. The Anti-Shine doesn’t seem to have affected the colour of the paint either which would have been a massive disappointment if it had.


In short along with the micro-set and micro-sol the Army Painter Anti-Shine will become a mainstay in my transfer arsenal. Buy some and use it for all your anti-shine needs.

Tending to your brush

Brushes are an integral part of painting models*, even if you use an airbrush there will be parts of the model you’ll want a brush for. Brushes can also be extensive with prices around £15 for GW’s artificer detail brush.

*if you use your fingers, or those of your defeated foes to paint, then you will not need a brush.

It can therefore get expensive replacing brushes when the bristles start to point in all directions. There’s nothing more frustrating than being happy with an area you’ve painted and then catching it with a stray bristle loaded with another colour. It’s a crushing feeling when this happens as you feel like your masterpiece has been damaged to the point that even your own mother couldn’t honestly say looks good. The picture below shows the dangers of stray brush strokes.

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After doing a bit of research on the problem I found a product called ‘”The Masters” Brush Cleaner and Preserver’ which promised to be the solution to all my problems. It’s basically like shaving soap that you lather up using your brush and then wash the bits of paint out with water. To maintain the shape of the bristles I’ve started leaving some soap on the bristles.

As an aside worthy of Iago,  I’ve noticed, as I’m writing this blog, that the cleaner is ‘specially prepared’ by the ‘original B&J’ and that ‘stains’ are specifically mentioned on the label. Now I’m hoping that these aren’t clues to the soaps construction but either way it cleans brushes really well even if it does taste a little salty.

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I’ve been using the brush cleaner for around five months on the Element Games Kolonsky brush and I have to say it is absolutely fantastic.

As you can see from the picture the bristles look new and not five months old. So if you want to buy some magic brush cleaner the the only place I’ve found that stocks it is the eternal flea market that is eBay. If anyone knows of another UK stockists that won’t shaft me on the p&p then please let me know.
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Love, hugs and kisses,

Jester

Genesis of a Painting Daemon

Bilbo just knocked his last  bottle of Devlan Mud over

Bilbo just knocked his last bottle of Devlan Mud over

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, painting miniatures. You buy one model, and if you don’t keep your wallet closed, there’s no knowing what you might paint.”

Bilbo’s hobby advice.

I’ve exchanged tweets with a few of my twitter followers about the pictures of my miniatures which I post under the #warmongers, #MiniatureMonday and #WIPWednesday hashtags. Most of the people I’ve spoken too are involved with the hobby but some are people who follow me on twitter for different reasons (my charm, razor sharp wit, dashing good looks, magnetic personality, beer nonsense and general moaning to name but a few). I’ve noticed over the past few months that several of my non-hobby followers have spoken to me about my miniatures and have said that they’d thought about getting some models in the past but have never taken that next step.

I enjoy painting models, it helps me unwind and relax and it seems a shame that some people think “I wouldn’t mind to trying that” but then never get any further. I believe part of the issue is that there’s a hell of lot of things to get from a specialised shop. If you’re totally new to the hobby to it all it can be very daunting.

The aim of this blog, therefore, is to provide a starting place for people who are interested in painting miniatures but have no idea where to start. I’ll cover what basic things you need to get and hopefully the cheapest way to get your hands on the godies. I’ve been painting miniatures now for just over a year so hopefully all my initial problems will be fresh in my mind.

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The first stop…

The first step with painting miniatures is also the hardest and it involves going to a hobby shop. For most people this will be a Games Workshop store as they are in most major town centers. You can get almost everything here that you will need to start the hobby, models, paints brushes, tools and primer. It sounds like the most ideal place to start but it’s not the place I get the bulk of my supplies from. To get all the basics you require you to start painting you will need to invest a little cash and buying direct for Games Workshop is notoriously expensive. If you buy your equipment from an independent model shop you will be will save around 15-25% off Games Workshop price as well as having access to other manufactures models and paints.

I’m going to plug Elemental Games here, cheap, massive stock range, a quick and reliable service and you earn store credit with each purchase. They have a shop and an amazing website too. If you do buy from Elemental Games then use promo code STE978 on the payment screen and you’ll receive double store credit points and I’ll receive some too! Everyone’s a winner baby!

Also remember to read as many blogs and watch as many videos as you can on painting – not rude videos as you’ll go blind. The information in blogs and videos is free, you’ll pick up so many new techniques by just reading and watching this stuff, so make sure you do it.

I’ll list the Games Workshop price (GW) and the Elemental Games prices (EG) below.

The first step…

So you’ve now decided where you’re going to buy your gear from, the next step is which models are you going to buy. I paint Blood Angel and Orks, both from the Warhammer 40k range, but if you want to go either into fantasy or sci-fi have a look at the whole model range as one model may look fab whilst the rest are mediocre. Google the fluff and get a feeling for the whole army. Once you’ve decided what army you want to paint (and even play) then I’d recommend that you get some general infantry units as your first models. If you buy infantry units you’ll get a lot more models for your money meaning you’ll have more to practice on as you start to learn the basic painting techniques.

Space Marine Assault Squad – GW £20.50 / EG £17.42

If you have a little more money to invest, and you like the armies, then you can get one of the box sets for either the Warhammer Fantasy Island of Blood featuring High Elves and Skaven or the Warhammer 40k Dark Vengeance box featuring Chaos Space Marines and loyalist Dark Angels Space Marines. You get a hell of a lot of models in each box and a self-contained game which you can use to bully your friends into getting into the hobby with. They do provide good value for money. If you’re only interested in one of the armies then you can put the others on eBay.

Island of Blood – GW £61.50 / EG £52.28

Dark Vengeance – GW £65 / EG £55.25

Step two…

Tools! There are lots of different tools for all manner of different purposes but you can actually get away with only needing a few to start with. At this point I would highly recommend that you do not buy any of the Games Workshop tools as they are really expensive. The build quality and finish are great but this is an area you can save on.

The first essential tool you will need are clippers to remove the model from the plastic spruce.

Clippers – GW£18 / EG £6.79

Next you’ll need a semi-circle file. One side is a semi-circle the other is flat. You’ll need a small plastic file to tidy your model by removing the mould line and smoothing over the areas where the model was attached to the spruce. Sadly, you can’t seem to buy individual files as they come in sets, you could, I suppose, use the spare files as bum scratchers.

Files – GW £12 / EG £4.49

Step 3…

Next you’ll want to glue your models together. Get them striking an epic pose and then use strong plastic glue.

Glue – GW £4.10 / EG £3.48

Step 4…

You’ll also need some primer. Once you’ve built your model you’ll want to prime it. If your model is going to be painted a dark colour scheme or mainly metallic then use a black primer. If your model is going to be of an overall lighter colour scheme, mainly flesh or light coloured robes then I’d use a white or grey primer. Primer allows the paint to stick and hold to the model. Bear in mind that you will only need a light coating over your model.

Primer – GW £9.80 / EG £8.33

Step 5…

You’ll need paints and there are lots to choose from. Paints are probably one of the cheapest things to buy but they can start getting expensive when you buy lots at once. I’d recommend searching the net for painting guides for the models you have chosen. Once you’ve read / watched a few you can buy the colours used to achieve the look you want.

Washes will soon become your best friend, they won’t let you down and they’re always there to make you look better than you actually are (which to be fair is better than what a real best friend does). Washes are a very easy way of adding shading to a model. They only contain a little pigment which allows you to see the painted area underneath but make the recesses of the model more shaded. The two washes I’d buy are Nulin Oil – a black wash that work great on metallic colours and Agrax Earthshade – a light brown shade that works well over fabrics.

GW – £2.40 a pot / EG – £1.99 a pot

Step 6…

Acrylic thinner, you need this, please purchase this. If you paint straight from the pot then your paint will be too thick and your model will look like it is melting. Paint that is too thick will destroy all the detail on the model and it’s probably the biggest pitfall for new painters. The acrylic thinner will thin your paint allowing for a thinner but smoother application of paint. It might take a little longer and a few coats to paint an area but the end results will be worth it. For each blob of paint on your pallet you’ll only need a small amount on thinner. You’ll want the paint to be the consistency of milk. The Emperor Demands thinned paint.

Paint for the Paint God!

Too Much Paint for the Paint God!

Acrylic thinner – GW Lahmian Medium £2.40 / EG £7.19

Step 7…

If you bought a paint set which included brushes then you’re set. If you didn’t then you’ll need a fine detail brush and a standard brush. To be honest you’d probably get away with just a fine detail brush (it’s the one I use 95% of the time).

Detail Brush – GW £3.75 / EG £2.98

Step 8…

All these things are free or you’ll have them in the house anyway, yippee!

  • An old mug to wash your brush in.
  • An old take-away tub lid to act as your palette.
  • Old newspaper to cover up the area where you’re painting. You will spill a paint pot and if you don’t have anything down to protect the table or carpet your significant other may hurt you as punishment and The Emperor won’t protect you.
  • Kitchen roll to dry your brush and remove excess paint.
  • Light for your painting area.
    • If you’re painting during the day then paint in front of a window. The natural light will help you see all the areas and stop you straining your eyes.
    • Painting in the evening (welcome to my world). Energy saving light bulbs are crap for painting under. Try and paint in the best lit room. You will also need to use a desk lamp to illuminate your work. If you take to the hobby then you need to invest in either daylight bulbs or a daylight lamp. It’s the kind that seamstresses use.

Things not to buy…

  • The White Dwarf monthly magazine. It’s expensive with no written content just nice pictures. Save the money and look for inspiring pictures on the internet.
  • Painting guides. Honestly, at a beginner level don’t bother. All the basic techniques and videos can be found on the net for free. There are some good guides I have bought but they have covered advanced techniques (airbrushing etc).
  • Too many models. If it’s not a limited edition then leave it in the shop. There’s nothing more disheartening than having a pile of models awaiting your attention as it puts pressure on you and then you’ll start to rush. If there’s only a limited run of the model then by all means get it and save it for the next project.

To get all the basics along with 10 tubs of paint  and a basic infantry model set you’re looking at splashing out £94.54 from Games Workshop and £70.50 from Elemental Games, a saving of £24.04.

The final and the most important thing you need for miniature painting is patience. Don’t rush the painting, take your time and enjoy the time you’re spending painting your model, you’re not thinking about work or life just the model. See your painting time as time to relax, have a beer or a glass of wine and listen to some music. It’s time wasted but in a constructive way.

If you do have a go at the hobby or you just want to ask a question then please add a comment.

Creating a Wet Palette

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The other day I decided to try my hand at creating a ‘wet palette’. Now for those of you who don’t know a wet palette is, it’s basically a magically simple tub that stops your paints from drying out once. It’s especially useful if you’ve created a unique colour and are halfway through a painting project as your paint will still be usable for days after the initial mixing.

Creating a wet palette is really simple and cheap so you don’t have an excuse for not using one.

Things you’ll need:

An air tight tupperware box that you can pick up from any supermarket or poundshop, please don’t use your child’s Transformers lunch box as it won’t be air tight and your child will crush your beloved plastic little men in a revenge attack.

A thick sponge that fits snuggly into the Tupperware box, it doesn’t have to be an exact fit but the closer to one the better.

Kitchen roll

Grease proof paper / baking paper

Water

Paint

First put the sponge in the Tupperware box. After that place a double layer of kitchen roll on top of the sponge and then pour the water –out of the tap- over the kitchen roll. Fill the tub about half way with water; a thick sponge is needed so that you can store more water which means there’s more water to keep your palette wet. The wet kitchen roll holds a layer of water at the top of the sponge which will keep your paint wetter, if you don’t use the kitchen roll the wonderful force that is gravity will pool all your water at the bottom of the sponge and the top of sponge – where your paint is – will get dry. After this cut a sheet of baking paper to fit the top of the Tupperware box and place it over the now wet kitchen roll and gently push it into place.

Congratulations, you’ve now made a wet palette. It was simple I know. Use the baking paper to mix your paint on (use paint thinner) and once you’ve finished put the lid on the Tupperware box to ensure it is air tight. An air tight box will keep your paint out of the pot fresh for days. If you want to prolong the life of the paint on the wet palette you can place the whole tub in the fridge but I won’t be responsible for any beatings you receive off your significant other!